VW Beetle engine
Tech & Auto
Ranking The Most Reliable Air-Cooled Engines Of All Time
601 Twin-Cylinder
Introduced in 1957 as a counterpart to the West German VW Beetle, the East German Trabant was powered by a 600cc 2-cylinder air-cooled 2-stroke engine.
While it only had 18 horsepower and produced a significant amount of pollution compared to today's cars, the engine was remarkably reliable due to its simple design.
Corvair Flat-6
The Chevrolet Corvairs' flat-6 was a unique engine for General Motors, as it is the only air-cooled horizontally-opposed engine ever made by the company.
In 1962, Motor Trend and other publishers witnessed a pair of Corvairs participate in an endurance test; neither car suffered serious problems during the 24 hours of driving time.
Citroën Twin
First produced in 1949, the Citroën featured a 375cc air-cooled horizontally-opposed twin with 9 horsepower. The engine continued to improve over the next 42 years.
The 2CV engine was built to be affordable. Its incredibly simple design and use of only a handful of parts to assemble have helped the engine remain reliable.
Evolution V-Twin
Thanks to its relatively simple design, Harley-Davidson's air-cooled V-twin engine has been their staple engine. In 1983, they introduced the Evolution V-twin.
This 80-cubic-inch twin brought many improvements. While there are some minor issues, the engine has proved to be long-lasting with proper upkeep.
Volkswagen Flat-4
The original Volkswagen flat-4 air-cooled engine was in production for decades due to its low manufacturing cost and features that made its cars easy to own.
The engine's simplicity makes them reliable, though they can have some issues. Modern VW forum users explain that they can last a long time but do require regular maintenance.